Pretty grips are not for #warriors

Remember that pretty Browning Hi-Power in .40 from yesterday? Those pretty white stocks…cracked after 25 rounds. I normally wouldn’t feel bad, but the gun belongs to a friend who lent it to me to test it out.


However, it provides an interesting contrast, especially when viewed side by side with the Beretta 92 Type M reviewed below; which has extremely ugly but also very functional grips on it. The grips on the Hi-Power were a lot prettier, and obviously when it came to functional shooting, a lot worse. They were slippery and didn’t provide much recoil control, which is important on .40s, and of course they had the small issue of coming apart.

Obviously, we wouldn’t recommend such grips for a serious defensive or competition pistol, hence the tongue in cheek title of this post. I used #warriors ironically, so I think it’s okay. However, that’s not to say that there is no place for stocks like this, because I am frequently reminded that there exists and entire world of gun ownership outside of the small training/competition community. I know it may come as a shock to you, dearest reader (because it shocked me) but some people own guns simply to own them! They don’t plan on shooting matches with them, or taking a weekend 500 round pistol class, they just…like to have them. Kind of like how Jay Leno owns cars, I’d imagine.

For people outside the training/competition community, grips like these serve a very nice purpose: they look good on the gun. I really did like the off-white contrast with the dark frame, and it’s too bad that under shooting they came apart. But not all things are designed for me, and that’s something I have to remind myself of on a regular basis. A Ferrari 250 California would be a pretty lousy daily driver, but you don’t buy one to “take it to the shops.”


  1. Let’s be clear about something…Those are aftermarket grips, not Browning’s. Might help if you told us what they were so we could avoid buying them.

    I’ve got slim, checkered rosewood grips on each of my Hi Powers, purchased from the old Sherwood International way back when for $27/pair. Each pair has survived many thousands of rounds without a problem.

      1. I have three sets of Hi Power VZ’s, but they need a little fitting, due to the fact that not all Hi Power frames are the same!!

  2. Sure hope they weren’t real Ivory; I’ve read a few different places suggest you do not shoot with real ivory grips, as it could result in what appears to be showing here. As mentioned, they might look elegant, but smooth grips are not very practical for use.

    1. Jerry Miculek prefers smooth grips on all his guns. Ironically, the DVD where he said it and explans his reasoning is titled “PRACTICAL RIFLE”.

      They might be practical, he seems to do alright with smooth grips.

      1. I would only add that finger groves don’t fit all hands. It’s my big ‘no’ on Glocks. Smoth grips never snag. With practice your hand flows into the grip.

  3. I have similar grips on a 1911. More than a thousand rounds with no problems. I did have a similar break with the issue wooden grips on another 45. A Witness.

  4. First time I was around Jerry a handgun instructor was also on the squad. He asked Jerry about handgun grips, finger grooves, etc. Jerry explained that he liked his smooth because, paraphrase but darn close, I can never draw gun the same way, every time and i want to be able to move my hand. You have to remember that Jerry has big, powerful hands strengthened by years of factory work and isn’t actually human.

  5. Ouch. Had that happen with my M9A1. I scooped up a set of similar grips with a Beretta medallian at Gary’s in Sioux Falls, and the left panel cracked to bits during a left hand only string of fire.

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